Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Austria - Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases

In what situation can I claim?

If you have had an accident in the workplace or suffer from an occupational disease, you may be entitled to initial medical aid and further medical treatment as well as to sickness cash benefit and disability pension.

Any accident which occurs in the course of your occupational activity is an occupational accident. Occupational activity also includes travel to and from work.

What is covered?

Occupational disease

First, it must be established that you have a recognised occupational disease before you can receive benefits from accident insurance in respect of an occupational disease. Not every illness in the context of a professional activity is an occupational disease. Recognised occupational diseases are listed and, in addition, a disease that is not listed can be recognised as an occupational disease on a case-by-case basis.

In case of substantial changes, review of the disability pension is possible. After the first two years of entitlement, a review can generally only be carried out in intervals of one year after the last assessment.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Accident at work

In the event of an accident at work, you will receive the cash payments to which you are entitled in the event of incapacity for work due to sickness. These include continued payment of wages (sick pay) and sickness cash benefit. However, if disability pension would be higher, the difference is made up from the 27th week onwards.

You may be entitled to comprehensive medical treatment, provision of medicines and medical devices, and treatment in a hospital or special clinic. The sickness insurance fund usually provides benefits during the first four weeks, but the accident insurance fund can assume provision of benefits at any time. As a rule, there are no co-payments required by the insured person. Exceptions are minor contributions for hospital care, medical or dental treatment and medicines.

If you are in hospital or a special clinic, you may be entitled to a cash benefit, i.e. family allowance (Familiengeld) or daily allowance (Taggeld), depending on your family circumstances. If the incapacitated person is entitled to sickness cash benefit, the benefit will start to be paid from the 27th week onwards.

In addition to medical rehabilitation measures, occupational and social rehabilitation measures are provided for the victims of accidents at work or occupational disease. Social rehabilitation, for example, is provided for example in the form of a home adaptation grant.

Vocational rehabilitation measures include:

  • Assistance in safeguarding or finding a job
  • Further training
  • Retraining

During training an interim allowance (Übergangsgeld) is provided.

Disability pension (Versehrtenrente)

You may be entitled to a disability pension from your accident insurance fund after your entitlement to sickness cash benefit expires (27 weeks at the latest after your accident at work or occupational disease). This pension is not to be confused with disability pension from your pension insurance scheme. Your capacity for work has to be reduced by at least 20% and last longer than three months. Pupils’ and students’ capacity for work has to be reduced by at least 50%.

In the event of total (100%) loss of working capacity, you may receive a pension amounting to two thirds (66 2/3%) of the calculation basis. If your loss of working capacity is less, you receive a pension in proportion to the degree of disability. In this case, the calculation basis is calculated as an average of the employee’s insured income during the previous year.

This pension is paid in 14 annual instalments. Your April and October pension instalments include a supplement.

Where appropriate, the severely disabled receive a supplementary pension in addition to their basic one. Supplementary pension amounts to 20% of the calculation basis for those whose capacity for work is reduced by less than 70% and to 50% for those whose incapacity for work is at least 70%.

A child supplement amounting to 10% of the pension is paid for each dependent child. In principle, this supplement is paid for children under 18 (or 27 if in education or vocational training). However, the condition for entitlement to these supplements is a reduction in capacity for work of at least 50%.

If, due to an accident at work or occupational disease, you are in need of nursing care, you may be entitled to a long-term care benefit in addition to your pension.

In case an accident at work or occupational disease is the result of negligent disregard of employee protection regulations, the pension may be supplemented by lump sum compensation depending on the degree of physical or mental disability caused (Integritätsabgeltung).

A one-off payment may be paid instead of a disability pension when the degree of incapacity is less than 25%.

Funeral expenses grant is provided the death of an accident-insured person is due to an accident at work or occupational disease.

If you are the spouse or registered partner of an insured person who has died as a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease, you may be entitled to a survivor’s pension from the accident insurance fund. This entitlement may also exist after dissolution of the marriage (or registered partnership) if the deceased was responsible for maintaining their survivors, or was required to do so, at the time of death. The survivor’s pension amounts to 40% of the calculation basis for the deceased if you have reached the statutory retirement age or are at least 50% incapacitated. Otherwise, the pension amount to 20% of the calculation basis.

Children may receive an orphan’s pension. A half-orphan receives 20% and a full orphan 30% of the insured person’s calculation basis. In principle, this supplement is paid for children under 18 (or 27 if in education or vocational training).

A pension may also be provided to parents (grandparents) in need or dependent brothers and sisters, if these dependants were mainly maintained by the deceased person. Maximum pension for all beneficiaries may, as a rule, not exceed 20% of the pension calculation basis (parents and grandparents have priority over brothers and sisters).

This benefit is only granted if the widow(er)’s and orphan’s pension do not exceed the maximum survivors’ pension amount (80% of the calculation base). If you suspect you may have had an accident at work, report it immediately to your employer. Your employer or treating doctor must communicate the details of the accident to the Austrian Workers’ Compensation Board (AUVA) within five days.

Some benefits are granted only if applied for. Applications should be submitted to the competent accident insurance fund, using an appropriate form. However, an application without specific form will also be evaluated.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

As a rule, benefits available in respect of occupational diseases correspond to those for accidents at work.

However, not every disease which occurs in the course of a professional activity is an occupational disease. Recognised occupational diseases are listed and, in addition, a disease that is not listed can be recognised as an occupational disease on a case-by-case basis.

Whenever you have to fulfil certain conditions before being able to claim an Austrian social security benefit, the authorities will also take into account any insurance periods you have completed in other countries. This applies to EU Member States and to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. No insurance period you have completed in Austria will be affected if you work or are insured in one of these countries.

Jargon busters

  • Accidents at work are accidents which occur within the context of insured employment, whether they be directly caused by the employment or whether they are contracted in the place of employment or during working hours.
  • Sickness is any abnormal physical or mental condition which requires medical treatment.
  • Occupational diseases are the diseases included on the Austrian Occupational Diseases List, under the conditions specified thereon, if they occur in the course of insured employment in any of the companies specified on the list.
  • Accident prevention - The employer is required to adapt and maintain workstations in a manner which protects the employee from accidents and occupational diseases.
  • Habitual residence - The terms ‘permanent residence’ and ‘habitual residence’ are defined under EU law. Please see the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. In practice, it means the place where you have your centre of interests.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights in law. However, they are not official European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:

Commission publications:

Whom do you need to contact?

Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection

Stubenring 1

1030 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 1/711 00-0

E: post@sozialministerium.at

http://www.sozialministerium.gv.at

Main Association of Austrian Security Institutions

Kundmanngasse 21

1030 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 711322400

E: posteingang.allgemein@hvb.sozvers.at

http://www.hauptverband.at

Austrian Workers’ Compensation Board (AUVA)

Adalbert Stifter-Straße 65

1201 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 133111404

E: hfa@auva.at

http://www.auva.at

List of AUVA offices

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